Fey aims high, and wide, for 30 Rock’s second season
Tina Fey wants a broader audience for the funniest comedy on TV, even if the comedy itself could rarely be described as broad.
“It’s very flattering that we’re well thought of among our peers,” the 30 Rock writer/star/producer told the LA Times last week in an article picked up at LoHud.com. “I’m hoping that maybe this will help other people know that the show even exists, and maybe we’ll be able to pick up some viewers.”
Fey’s dilemma is that the satire that drives her show is also what sets it apart from the According to Jim‘s of the world that have dominated ratings while simultaneously contributing to the demise of the American sit-com.
‘Rock’ Stars: Tina Fey, left, and Jane Krakowski (who plays Jenna) pose on the red carpet during NBC’s 2007-2008 preview May 14 in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
She doesn’t want 30 Rock to be the next Arrested Development (even if in some ways it already is). That is to say, critical acclaim, which she’s got, will mean little if the show gets canceled, which it nearly was at various times last season.
So Fey’s cutting down her scripts this season, letting the show breathe a little and continuing to grow as an actor. That recipe should make for an entertaining sophomore season. The fact that there’s not a weak link in the cast doesn’t hurt, from the brilliant if parentally challenged Alec Baldwin to the zany, ankle bracelet-wearing antics of Tracy Morgan and the down-home sincerity of improv veteran Jack McBrayer.
Whether they can please more of the people more of the time without losing the edge that kept them afloat while their Bizarro World counterparts at Studio 60 sank remains to be seen. I’ve got two words of advice, though: more Frank.
In the meantime, check out Fey’s appearance with David Letterman the other night.
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Want more? Here’s NBC’s promo clip for the new season, which looks and sounds a lot like the highlight clip from the old season.
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By the way, the new Saturday Night Live “best of” DVD exclusive at Starbucks contains a bonus disc with “Black Tie”, the episode featuring Paul Reubens along with other 30 Rock bonus materials. That and Justin Timberlake’s unmentionable (here anyway) musical contribution might just make it worth the $20.